The key battle Brumbies must win to beat 'world-class' Jaguares
SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: Brumbies lock Rory Arnold says they can extend their winning streak to nine games and end a 15-year Super Rugby title drought over the next fortnight.
The Brumbies are playing for a spot in their first final since 2014 when they take on the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Friday.
The Brumbies have won a single-season club record seven straight games and could host the decider with another victory and if the Hurricanes upset the Crusaders in the other semi-final.
The Jaguares are also in a rich vein of form, winning 10 of their past 11 games, including six straight, and were the last side to beat the Brumbies.
Both teams boast one of the best forward packs in Super Rugby but Wallabies enforcer Arnold backed his men to win the battle up front.
“They’re a world-class team, full of international players, they’ve got a good record and been playing some really good footy, so it’s going to be a hard task with the travel and everything but we’ve won there before,” Arnold told AAP.
“We’ve got some quality players in our pack with big Al (Allan Alaalatoa) and Sammy (Carter). From one to eight we’ve got good players then some more on the bench. I’m quite confident our pack will match theirs.
“We’ve had some pretty good sides in the past but I think as a squad we’re gelling really well and that’s showing on the field at the moment.
“I back our squad and ability to go over there and get the job done.”
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If the Brumbies overcome the Argentines they’ll then face one of the two best-performing teams this year, but Arnold said their best is good enough to beat anyone.
“We need to tidy a few things up but we’ve got a strong set piece and some classy backs there. It all starts up front for us, but I think we can go all the way,” Arnold said.
“The pinnacle of Super Rugby is winning it and we’re two games away. We’re all competitors and we don’t play footy to come second, we play to win and if we did that it would be pretty special because I’ve never won a grand final at any level.
“It would be unreal to host the final, when they were farewelling us (on Saturday night) I was like you never know we might be back here in a couple of weeks.
“That would be unreal but we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves, we’ve got a big game this week and we need to get the result.”
Brumbies touring squad:
Forwards: Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa, Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, James Slipper, Angus Wagner, Folau Fainga’a, Connal McInerney, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Darcy Swain, Blake Enever, Murray Douglas, Tom Cusack, Rob Valetini, Jahrome Brown, Lachlan McCaffrey.
Backs: Joe Powell, Matt Lucas, Christian Lealiifano, Toni Pulu, Tom Wright, Henry Speight, Andy Muirhead, Tevita Kuridrani, Irae Simone, Tom Banks, Mack Hansen.